Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Top 10 Posts

I got to looking back at my old posts and I've decided to talk about my Top 10 favorite posts. These 10 posts have either become or were from the start one of my favorites for one reason or another.

In taking our degrees there is one thing you must remember, namely, the order in which events happen is seldom the order in which we learn about them. The successive degrees in Masonry picture events in the order we learn about them, not the chronological order in which they occurred. For instance, the Mark Master's Degree took place before those of the Master Mason's, but they were not presented to you in that order. The degree you are about to receive pictures events that happened prior to and after the Tragedy of the Third Degree, and we would have you notice how well they fill in the gaps in our knowledge of that Tragedy and its meaning.
This is one of my very favorites. This post was a long time coming as I had noticed from the very beginning of my York Rite journey that the degrees and orders were not invested in their chronological order. Before I posted I presented this to my Lodge and because of that was able to do some much-needed revisions.

In closing, it's reasonable to assume that the sigils of these four Royal Arch banners were, depicted as they are, influenced by Ezekiel's vision of the four cherubim. Such use of tetramorphs is not unique to the Judeo-Christian traditions, but has been long seen in the ancient world. Tetramorphs are commonly used as divine guardians and we see this commonality with the Masters of the Veils and Royal Arch Captain who bear and protect the banners, and who represent the attendants who protected the four veils of the Tabernacle.
This post actually resulted from a discussion I had with what I thought was an anti-Mason, but actually was just a bit rough around the edges yet was very knowledgeable in esoteric studies and we got to talking about the Tribes of Israel, the zodiac, and astrology in general.

When discussing the Founding of the United States of America and influence of those who were members of the Masonic fraternity one may hear that all the Founding Fathers were Masons and that America is just one Masonic experiment. Well, when I was approached to speak at a local school on the subject of Masonry in American history, and I decided I would research and present on the subject on those men who were Masons and their influence during the Revolutionary War.
This post was originally a PowerPoint that I had presented to an AP History course at a local high school. One of the Brothers requested from the Idaho Lodge of Research to give a presentation for a class after a teacher had approached him. I later presented this to my Lodge and then decided to share this on m blog with revisions.

From the beginnings of our lessons in Masonry we see examples of chivalry. Many symbols can be shown to represent actions and beliefs that all good men should embrace, but I particularly want to focus on the 3 Tenets: Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. By truth is every noble virtue we know founded upon and should dictate every thought, word, and action. As the Square teaches us to square our actions, the level to treat every person as equal, and the plumb to walk uprightly before God and man, so does Brotherly Love teach us to regard the whole human species as one family, thereby rendering us responsible to aid, support, and protect to the best of our ability. The last, but not least (I know, cliché) is Relief, and as the lecture tells us, all men are required to assist the distressed, destitute, and sorrowed. This last tenet can also be seen in the lessons given in the Order of the Temple where one must vow to defend the weak and defenseless.
This post took me a long time to write. I wrote a major portion of this during several nights when I had trouble sleeping. As a Knights Templar, I find chivalry very important...obviously, but I also see the need that chivalry needs more emphasis in our world today. To practice chivalry, I find it necessary to see where it originated and evolved to become what we see it and wish it to be.

From my early interest in the Templars of the Crusades, I always found their garments, and the distinction between the two, interesting as it was both simple, but highly symbolic. Fast forward to Fall 2008 and I have entered the Asylum for the first time to see the Sir Knights seated in their uniforms; one of a black jacket (similarly used by the Naval Petty Officer), a feathered Chapeau, and armed with a sword. I, as many people have, found the difference in uniform styles to be weird (for lack of a better word). For such a prestigious order to commemorate themselves by taking the name of those valiant knights of the Crusades, but veering away from them in such a manner.
I had always been curious about how the American Templars came to use the Chapeau and Jacket as well as the original outfit. This thread is my top post in my blog and at first, I was shocked to see how popular it was among my other articles, but I started to notice that the uniform is a point of contention among many Templars and prospective members.

Throughout its history the rose has caught the imagination of the masses. This flower has been used as a symbol in a variety of forms, from one of romance to duality (celestial perfection and Earthly passion), to wisdom, and many more, by various groups, cultures, and individuals. As it is such a complex symbol let's take a look at some the uses and by whom.
I loved doing the research for this symbol. I've always liked the Rose as a symbol and enjoyed researching its connection to and application in Freemasonry.

Simplistic in its design, but unique with its many meanings, the Beauceant was and is the standard of the Knights Templar. The Beauceant consisted of a black sec­tion above a white one. Note that some say it was hung from a perpendicular pole near the top of the vertical one so that both of the colors could be seen without any wind.
Like I talked about it the article, I was a Guidon Bearer in my early days of military service. What I didn't explain was that the Guidon I received was in need of repair. My mother repaired the cloth and I refitted the staff with a stronger piece of leather to hold the top of the guidon to the staff. I took a great deal of interest in my duties and during my pre-deployment, I had to march around. During my deployment, I was also present at Ramp Side ceremonies where we would see our fallen brother depart the base on a C-130. Having served as a Guidon Bearer I understand the symbolism of the Guidon and its use. I had thought about going further back into the earlier uses of guidon/flags by ancient societies like the Romans.

History of the York Rite in Idaho: Part I & Part II
Masonry in Idaho can be traced back to the gold rushes that brought men to the territory in 1860. Until March 3rd, 1863, when the Idaho Territory was created, part of what is now Idaho belonged to Washington Territory. So, it is not unusual to find history of Idaho Masonry to be found in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Washington. The first remnants of Masonry were seen in the northern portions of the State until gold was discovered in the Boise Basin. As it was in the north, among the gold rushers were Masons and soon Idaho City (formerly Bannock City) became an epicenter of Masonry in the Idaho Territory.
The Grand Commander asked me to research this subject. This took me some time to write both parts as I had to sift through records. Researching the Royal Arch Masons was easy because of the published 4-volume set on its history which included Grand Chapters. The speed bump came when researching for the Council and Commandery, but I pushed through it, and with the help of the Grand Secretary/Recorder I got the needed information.

King Athelstan, the grandson of King Alfred the Great (known for his defense against the Viking invaders), Athelstan (also spelled: Athelstane, Athelstone, Athelston, Aldiston, Adelstan, Adelston, and Ethelstan) is historically known for his success in securing the submission of Constantine II, King of Scots, at the Treaty of Eamont Bridge in 927 AD through to the Battle of Brunanburh in 937 AD led to his claiming the title "King of all Britain". While overlooked by his grandfather, it is important to point out that Athelstan was the first King of a unified England from 927 AD. He reigned between 925 and 939 and was a distinguished and courageous soldier who pushed the boundaries of the kingdom further than anyone had done before. According to Masons, particularly those of the York Rite persuasion, he holds an endearing place in our history as great supporter of Masonry in England, establishing charges and articles given to the Craft to live by.
Since the time I first heard of the Regius Poem, I became very interested in King Athelstan and his legendary role in the origins of Freemasonry. I enjoyed reading through the manuscripts and from this, I've started researching the Comacine Masters, the Roman Collegia, and how or if it ties back to King Athelstan.

Throughout the history of Freemasonry there have been gatherings and events that have had a large impact on the fraternity in general, specific Orders within the Fraternity, or due to the lack of documentation has lead the theories abound. The history of Freemasonry is a complex topic, not always because of one's ability or inability to comprehend the subject, but often due to the lack of recorded evidence to support or reject a hypothesis. When faced with incomplete information one may let their imagination wonder which can sometimes lead to far-fetched and exaggerated speculations. One such event that many Masons and anti-Masons have theorized about is the 1782 Congress of Wilhelmsbad; Albert Mackey refers to this Congress as "the most important Masonic Congress of the eighteenth century". To the Masons, this meeting marks the impending doom of Rite of Strict Observance and the rise of the Rectified Scottish Rite. To the anti-Mason and conspiracy theorists, this is the meeting where the Bavarian Illuminati is said to have infiltrated and taken over Freemasonry to enhance their nefarious agenda for global domination.
Although it's one of the more recent articles, this one is on my Top 10 list as it took me a long time to write. It took some time as there is very little information readily available and I refused to publish this for a very long time until I had exhausted much of my time and effort. This post was inspired by the dealings I have had with anti-Masons and their thought that the Masonic fraternity is a puppet organization of the fabled Illuminati.

There are several other posts that are some of my favorites, but are not relevant to Freemasonry. Some of these would include "Do it Anyway", which is a poem I heard recited at the first Job's Daughter meeting I attended, or "End Times", which I wrote for my World Religions class while in Iraq. I also made separate posts about my departure from Iraq and arrival back to Idaho, but this was prior to my establishing a Facebook page. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have.

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